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The Hawes trail system is renowned as one of the best mountain bike networks in the Phoenix metro area.
While some of the older trails in Phoenix are simply raw and rugged, Hawes is home to superb bike-optimized singletrack that runs along a series of beautiful elevated ridges. While the trails on the west side of the park, like Red Mountain Rush, Sunset Ridge, and Big Sister, might be the most popular, a few of the ridges on the park's east side are total sleeper hits with rad lines! The route shown here is a double loop combination that climbs L'Alpe d'Huez both times and descends High Ridge and Iron Goat to Pure O. L'Alpe d'Huez is a direct climb to the top of the ridge that gains over 600 feet of vert in a hurry.
Even so, the bike-optimized trail design with well-graded trail tread and a slew of switchbacks makes the trail very climbable, even if you might find yourself in the granny gear most of the way. At the top, you have easy access to both of these descents, as well as a traversing benchcut trail that leads to the western side of the park. High Ridge is a great first descent that allows you to warm up on fast ridgeline singletrack with a few steep chutes and optional drops along the way.
Many people refer to High Ridge as a "flow" trail, but it's not a machine-built flow trail in the classic sense of the term.
Nevertheless, this is a fun, flowy romp down the mountain! Iron Goat and Pure O crank the difficulty up a notch! While some local riders refer to this line as a double black diamond, it's rather a solid single black descent.
However, you'll spot many more optional jumps, and drops than on High Ridge.
Parts of the main trail also feature much technical boulder-filled rock gardens, steep chutes, and blind turns.
A few of the optional features hit the double black diamond rating, but you can easily avoid them if you want to keep the difficulty lower.
Pure O is the natural conclusion to Iron Goat, but you can also opt for a few other descents near this junction, such as an easier bailout on Cactus Nectar.
Once at the bottom of Pure O, follow Lance's Trail to get back to the trailhead.